Friday, August 14, 2015

Lew's News

Whether intentional or not, I think much of what I've written lately has focused on the notion of hypocrisy - inconsistency in positions, statements and policy.

I've been critical of Obama on a host of topics in this regard and I cannot remember a President in my lifetime whose words were so at odds with his actions. I cannot conceive how any observer with an IQ that registers on any scale can, for example, make the case that this is one of the most scandal-free administrations in history.

I've been equally critical of Republucans in the House and Senate. Having campaigned through more than one election cycle to change the direction of Washington, to reverse the course of Obamacare, to halt the funding associated with overreaching executive actions, we find ourselves with a Congress that functions much like the one ruled by Harry Reid. "Cromnibus" passes with McConnell and Boehner assistance, those who challenge the "establishment" are pilloried and lose positions of authority in committees.

Despite the self-centered bombast of Donald Trump, he expresses a contempt for the politically correct that is shared by many in the electorate. Nixon used to call them the "silent majority" and while I doubt the demographic composition is the same, the label remains apt. There is a general sense of disgust with a bilateral, bicameral "biopoly" which effectively controls the wheels of government. Though they have minor policy differences, their objectives are shared: to maintain the status quo, to avoid confrontation with the opposition, to maintain the preeminence of federal government.

Unfortunately, we have seen the limitations and foibles of centralized government which acts in contravention to the concepts enumerated by the Constitution. An EPA that releases pollutants into rivers affecting Colorado, Utah and New Mexico; what is the EPA doing assuming operational control of anything? These are private enterprise and state government functions. Under what legislation does the federal government get into the business of directly investing in "clean energy" companies, effectively picking winners and losers? What constitutional provision enables any arm of the federal government to selectively enforce laws it favors or disfavors? How does a Secretary of State come to the conclusion that she can conduct her official digital affairs on a privately owned and maintained server and then further decide to what the government is entitled and to what it is not?

Is there not something inherently corrupt in the presumptive nominee of a major political party who's earned millions from private and foreign governments insisting that she wants to be the champion of the oppressed middle class? The socialist Betnie Sanders sees no contradiction in asserting that the economy is rigged in favor of the wealthy while he trolls for funds in Martha's Vineyard? Obama rips the opponents of his Iran Treaty as confederates of Twelver hardliners, but he ignores the Constitution's imperative to bring treaties before the Senate for a 2/3 approval requirement?

People who do not understand the disgust felt by a significant portion of the electorate do so at their peril. Trump does, but despite his occasional perspicacity, I think it's more instinctive than intellectual. Cruz and Fiorina get it and I believe they will have much to say at the end of the day. Bernie Sanders taps into it, too, but from an opposite ideological perspective. Sanders supports Obama without reservation, but feels his socialist agenda hasn't gone far enough. Clinton represents perpetuation of the status quo, a retreat of sorts from the Obama agenda, and Bernie's supporters are in favor of unexpurgated redistribution: expansion of federal taxation, single payer health care and unrestrained spending expansion. It is a literal mirror image of the approach favored by the opposition.

In this atmosphere of rampant hypocrisy, for me, nothing comes close to the drama surrounding the
Iran Treaty. I believe, as I have mentioned previously, that Obama will get his treaty through a
presidential veto. It will forever enshrine legitimization of Iran as a nuclear power. In historical retrospect this will be seen as one of the most important markers of an Obama administration. Bernie Sanders has been a proponent of this treaty from the outset. All of the Republican candidates have expressed their objections to it.

With great reservation, I have to admit that no one embodies the double speak of this administration on Iran (and there are so many candidates from which to choose!) like Jack Lew. He has written an Op-Ed today attempting to defend the deal with words mimicking the lunatic logic of that foreign policy genius, John Kerry.

You uninformed peasants have no idea what a great job we did cobbling together ANY economic sanctions with Russia and China. They just don't want to do it anymore! We'll be on our own! Isolated from the world community! Who approved this deal already! What is wrong with you
people? No other genius administration (and let's be honest: no administration has ever been filled
with the quantity and quality of genius talent as our's has) could have crafted a deal as tough and crafty as this one! The Euros know what a great deal this is. If the Israelis hadn't elected that boob Bibi, they'd accept it, too. We can't go it alone on this! We don't want to piss off the Ayatollah!

I swear, you couldn't make this up in your wildest dreams.

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